Make Your Own Camping Gear: Do It Yourself Homemade Camping Equipment

If you're planning a camping trip but you don't have the equipment you need or the budget for it, you can save money by learning how to make your own with these instructions.

Camping in the great outdoors is a fun way to unwind and relax with your family and friends. If you like to head out to the woods to camp on a regular basis, then you might already have spent a bunch on money on all of the camping supplies you need. But if you haven't, you can make your own camping equipment and save a bundle of cash in the process!

Basically, to go on a camping trip, you'll need a tent, sleeping bag, a lantern, some cooking utensils, a rain coat, and a container to hold water. You can make a sleeping bag at home before you leave on your camping trip. To do this, you'll need to lay out a full, queen, or king size comforter (depending on your body size) flat. Then, fold one side of the comforter over so it's now folded in half. Either hand-sew or machine-sew a full-length zipper onto the edges of the comforter, and your sleeping bag is ready for use! Place a garbage bag inside the bag, and when you're ready to use the sleeping bag, simply fill the garbage bag with your extra clothes and use it for a pillow. In case of rain, the bag can double as a rain coat.

You can make a tent by using some medium-size waterproof tarps, a few long, straight sticks, some short posts, and a coil of rope. To erect your homemade tent, lay out the two tarps side by side on the ground. Then, pick up both front ends, place a grommet from each tarp over a stick, and secure the stick into the ground. Repeat this process with the middle of the tarps, and then the end. Cut some lengths of rope and tie each pair of grommets to the sticks. The next step is to cut six more lengths of the rope. Then, use a rock to pound the posts into the ground alongside the tent on both sides. One post should be located at the front, one at the middle, and one at the end of the tarps. Tie each length of rope to each post, and then to a grommet in the side of the tarp. Make sure that the ropes are taut enough so they hold the tent up so it's straight and secure. And finally, use another length of rope, and run it in and out through the grommets in the tops of the tarps. Pull it tight enough so the top of the tent is closed up, then tie off the ends.

There's no need to purchase special cooking utensils, as old pots and pans that have metal handles will work fine while you're camping. Find three long, relatively-straight sticks and tie them together to make a tripod over the campfire. Then, use two short lengths of rope to tie a fourth, shorter stick across the tripod, about a third of the way down from the top. Hang a pot on the stick, and cook your meal. You can even make boiled coffee by using a pan too. Simply add the ground coffee into the pan, fill it with water, and place it over the camp fire. Allow the water to come to a boil for a few minutes, and it's ready to drink. Just be careful not to get any coffee grounds into your cup!

You can also make another piece of your camping gear - the lantern- easily by cleaning out an old paint can. Use a hammer and a large, sharp nail to poke several holes in the sides of the can at least two inches up from the bottom. Then, place an inch or so of petroleum jelly in the bottom of the paint can. Place four or five votive candles in the jelly, and your lantern is ready for use! Not only will the jelly hold the candles securely in place, but it will also allow the votive candles to burn for hours and hours!

And finally, save some plastic milk jugs for your next camping trip too; they're quite versatile. Clean them out thoroughly, then you can use them to take, as well as store water. You can also cut the top of one out and poke holes in the sides to make a dipper for catching minnows, if you need bait for fishing. A plastic milk jug can also be cut down to serve as a makeshift bowl for your morning cereal at your campsite.

© High Speed Ventures 2011